Brian Terrell, co-coordination of the group Voices forÂ Creative Nonviolence, is scheduled to report to a Federal Prison inÂ Yankton, S.D for protesting drones outside ofÂ Whiteman Air Force Base.
At my sentencing I told the judge:
âEach of the governmentâs witnesses, all of them Air ForceÂ policeÂ personnel, testified that participants in this protest were nonviolent, respectful and peaceable in assembling at Whiteman Air Force Base, a governmentÂ installation, to petition that government for redress of a grievance, demanding that theÂ remote controlÂ killing carried out daily from Whiteman cease. They testified that at no time, before or during our protest, did they perceive us as a threat.
âOur expert witnesses testified that our behavior was consistent with the activities that the drafters of the First Amendment intended to be protected, not persecuted, by the government. The order and security of the base would not have been compromised had the securityÂ policeÂ allowed us to proceed to the headquarters to deliver our petition. No testimony to the contrary was offered this court.
âInstead of planning to accommodate a constitutionally protected peaceable assembly, however, the Air Force chose intimidation and conspired to deprive us of the rights they are sworn to protect. We learned from government witnesses that the phalanx of goose-stepping riotÂ policeÂ is a âConfrontation Management Team,â deployed only in the case of preannounced events. Whiteman security did not call out the Team to defend the base but to intimidate citizens engaged in lawful activities.â
Back on April 15th, about 40 people, mostly from the Kansas City area, went to Whiteman Air Force Base and held a shortÂ rallyÂ outside the gates on a public right of way. We had a petition â an indictment we called it â that listedÂ the lawsÂ that drones are violating and the damage they are doing. We took that to the gate and were stopped. Three of us askedÂ directionsÂ to deliver the petition and were immediately put inhandcuffs.Â About 40 militaryÂ policeÂ in full riot gear appeared (video) and did a choreographed dance including high kicks and grunts and beating their shields, two steps forward and one step back, to get rid of the rest of the U.S. citizens, who were acting legally under the First Amendment.